TfN has released its first Transport Decarbonisation Strategy for the North of England, setting the ambitious goal of near-zero carbon emissions from surface transport by 2045, including zero emission cars, rail electrification, and hydrogen.
Following the summer strategy consultation, four key initiatives were decided upon. These include rail electrification, public transportation improvements, including Northern Powerhouse Rail, the development of a Zero Emission Vehicle charging infrastructure framework, and the creation of a regional route plan for transportation decarbonization.
The strategy’s broader action plan includes:
- Encouragement of modal shifts toward more sustainable modes of transportation, such as public transportation and active travel
- Vehicles with zero emissions, such as automobiles, HGVs, and buses, and an extensive network of charging stations to facilitate their widespread usage
- Electrification of the train network to reduce carbon emissions
- Vehicles powered by hydrogen or other fuels
- Opportunities for decarbonization in the transportation sector
- Reducing the amount of carbon embedded in new transportation infrastructure development
The plan also makes use of TfN’s four Future Travel Situations to guarantee that it is prepared for a wide variety of probable scenarios.
It is the first time a regional plan of this kind has been developed, bringing together the region’s leaders to speak out with one voice on the climate emergency and how the transportation industry must respond to it. It also emphasizes the North of England’s objectives in reducing carbon emissions, with the area wanting to go beyond national policies and targets, with a clear strategy for achieving progress as soon as feasible.
furthermore It demonstrates the importance of achieving a fair transition for all of the North’s communities – maximising clean growth opportunities; ensuring decarbonisation is at the heart of transportation-related policy and investment decisions; and how regional action can help the North achieve its collective ambitions.
The strategy was approved by the TfN Board on November 24th, with Board Members – the region’s political and business leaders – welcoming the detail and scope of work, outlining important elements such as the need for modal shift, the transition to renewable fuels and delivery of sufficient charging infrastructure, and freight decarbonisation, and noting the effectiveness of collaborative working on a challenge such as decarbonising transport.
“Addressing the climate emergency is a significant task, and the North of England has a key role to play,” said Martin Tugwell, Chief Executive of Transport for the North. “As detailed in our Transport Decarbonisation Strategy and emphasized by our Members, we think our area can and must take clear and comprehensive action to decarbonize surface transportation in the coming years.” Our regional strategy demonstrates how the North of England can lead the UK in decarbonizing our transportation system, and we will now move those initiatives ahead at a rapid pace while ensuring decarbonisation targets underlie all of our efforts. This will help us construct a greener North of England by including sustainability into all transportation projects and enhancements. We showcase the true power of TfN Members speaking with one voice and putting action behind our words through our regional plan. We have set an ambitious goal for ourselves, one that we all wholeheartedly support and will strive towards as a region with passion and dedication.”
Cllr Louise Gittins, Interim Chair of Transport for the North and Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, stated that TFN’s objective is for every person and company to have access to high-quality, accessible, and affordable zero-carbon transportation.
“Recent extreme weather disasters remind us of the crucial need of not only decarbonizing transportation, but also responding to the repercussions to ensure we develop resilient systems suited for the future,” Cllr Gittins added. “Above all, they remind us of the effects on people’s lives when infrastructure and transportation options are not resilient; this highlights the importance of maximizing our efforts in both reducing emissions and adapting to climate change, and I am pleased that this strategy provides us with the framework to do so.”